Ingrid Rapatz; Richard and Herald Roetteger
Aguadilla Puerto Rico | March 26, 2018
The Waterbenders are three high school students from Ramey School located in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. After the tragedy of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was left in an island-wide water and power outage. Those who obtained a water source could not ensure that it would be potable for use. This led to many of them purchasing water filters; however, the filters also weren’t guaranteed to remove all of the chemicals and bacteria. This led the team to their research question: How can we verify that the water being filtered is safe for consumption? Due to the fact that no individuals were testing water after the passage of Hurricane Maria, the collected water from the irrigation canal from the Guajataca reservoir to represent untreated water after the hurricane.
Maria’s after effects influenced our team to begin testing tap and irrigation water with four different types of filters donated by community relief groups. We teamed up with the Surfrider Rincon Foundation to test the water samples for enterococci, E.coli, and total coliform. Through these tests, the team was able to compare and contrast the levels of bacteria that could impact the safety and quality of the water.
The Waterbenders collaborated with Ramey’s Middle School team, the Aguarico, who were designing their own water filters using the natural resources available after the passing of Hurricane Maria. The Waterbenders and Aguarico teams took a fieldtrip to Rincon’s Waveriders Foundation Lab to learn how to perform the different bacteria tests. The high school team trained the Aguarico team on using the difference Vernier probes to conduct other water quality GLOBE protocols.
Both teams will be presenting their research at the Southeast (U.S.) Regional Student Research Symposium at University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC April 19-20, 2018.
More information can be found at this website:
They also have entered the research into the 2018 GLOBE International Virtual Science Symposium (IVSS)
Evaluating Bacteria Levels in Filtered Water after Hurricane Maria Devastated Puerto Rico
High School Student Presenters:
Globe Teacher: R Roettger
Improving the Drinking Water Quality after Hurricane Maria using Natural resources
Middle School Student Presenters:
Teacher: I Rapatz-Roettger
Special thanks for the support from:
Rincon Surfrider’s Foundation https://rincon.surfrider.org/
The https://waterfiltersforpr.com/ and Brad and Amy McFarland
Waves for Water http://www.wavesforwater.org/